Nitrogen has positive electron gain enthalpy, whereas oxygen has negative. However, oxygen has lower ionisation enthalpy than Nitrogen. Explain.

Answers (1)

In the nitrogen atom, the three 2p-electrons reside in different atomic orbitals according to the Hund's rule whereas, in the oxygen atom, two of the four 2p-electrons must occupy the same 2p-orbital resulting in an increased electron-electron repulsion.Oxygen has lower ionisation enthalpy than nitrogen because by removing one electron from 2p-orbital, oxygen acquires stable configuration, i.e., 2p3. On the other hand, in case of nitrogen it is not easy to remove one of the three 2p-electrons due to its stable configuration

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